Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Two Parcels For Me Today

I waited in most of the day to see if my wool parcels would arrive. Just when I had given up and was about to leave to go and collect my prescription from the Doctor's surgery two parcels arrived at 4.30pm. I got one from Purplelinda and one from Texere. I still have another parcel from Texere to come and that is the one with the extra 2 balls that I need to finish crocheting my sweater and two colours that I have ordered for baby B.

As I had liked the outcome of the Cinnabar cardigan in the King Cole Riot DK I ordered another two colours of it. This time around I ordered 5 balls of each colour as the jacket was such a tight squeeze with only 4 balls. On the photo the colours look very similar but in real life the one on the right has russets and olive greens in it whereas the one on the left is a mix of dark reds and maroons. It's hard to show the colours in the balls but once they are crocheted I am sure that they will look very different. I also ordered another ball of the Orange Reflections with the gold thread in it as I decided that one ball would not make a shawl for me.

From Purplelinda I ordered the King Cole Mirage in the shades of purple with green. Once again I have bought 5 balls along with 2 balls of bright red in Patons Fab DK to make another cardigan or a sweater for Baby B.

From Purplelinda I ordered 3 pattern booklets. I will photograph what it in them tomorrow so that you can see all of the contents. The Turtleback Jackets have just got the two patterns in the booklet that you can see on the photo but I will take a photo of the back views of them tomorrow. I would call them more of a shrug. They are nice openwork ones that will look good in the summer or in the winter over a plain sweater. As they fit quite loosely I think that they will be flattering to wear for a fuller figure like me. It might give me the illusion of having a waistline. I have only got one shawl fastener so I must keep an eye out for a couple of different designs in different colours. The one I have is black and that won't look too good on a light coloured shrug.

I have finished the blue cardigan for Baby B but am not starting any more until I get feedback about the size as I think that although the chest size looks right it looks as though it is rather long in the body and the arms look way too long. I wanted to experiment with stash wool so that when the new wool arrives I will have the size right for him. I won't be doing the mock ribbing again as although it is faster for me to knit I don't like the overall look of the doubled ribbing. I tried it just to see how it would look. I think that I will stick to the hand knitted ribs in future.

Tonight I will crochet the last ball into my lilac sweater and hope that the remaining 2 balls turn up tomorrow so that I can finish it off. I like the James C Brett Rio DK but it doesn't have a good yardage at all. Also it has worked up thicker than my usual DK. It will make a lovely warm sweater for the winter though and I just hope that the different dye number won't show too badly when the wool arrives.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Two Old Ladies

I think that it would help if I could find the instruction manual to my chunky machine. I hoard everything so the manual must be somewhere but I can lay my hands on everything else except that. On my searches I have come across many machine knitting magazines ranging from 1969 - 1989 and there are some weird and wonderful things in those which makes me wonder why I ever bought them in the first place. I can't think that they were ever fashionable although I did find a nice book of baby clothes for the finer machine.

The Two Old Ladies (myself and the machine) struggled most of yesterday and managed to finally produce a tank top. I felt so stupid when I could not even remember how to cast on! Poor foster baby B is being used as a guinea pig. The tank top came out a bit small. I hand knitted the ribs, as you can see in the second photo, and when I had finished the neckband I realised that it would not go over baby B's head so I opened up the shoulder seam, crocheted a placket, and added two buttons. If it is too small for him then Baby L (now known as Little Legs) will have to grow into it. I wonder if Baby B is now Big Legs?

I actually fell asleep reading the Bible for Machine knitting in bed so how sad is that. Although it refers to a different machine I read up on a lot of techniques. Today I started a cardigan for Big Legs and thought that I would try the mock rib. I will finish this off but I don't think that I like it as much as the hand knitted ribs. It will have to have a hand knitted button and neckband anyway. I couldn't remember what the mock rib looked like and now that I do know I don't think that I will use it again. My fine machine has a ribber attached to that but I never bought a ribber for the chunky machine.

My main problems is getting the size of the garment right. Once I sort that bit out then I will have a pattern for how many stitches and rows etc and will be able to race away making some more. When I used to knit for Ian as a small child I had everything written down and as he grew I just updated my template pattern. The cardigan is looking more like the size of Big Legs as I imagine him but as I haven't seen him for 4 months he may well have grown. I will e mail the finished measurements to Sylvia and ask her to check on his back length and sleeve size before I make any more. I want to get the size right for when the new wool arrives later this week. I am making my mistakes on stash wool.

I don't think that machine knitting will ever take the place of my crocheting. I don't relax when machine knitting whereas I can stretch out in my recliner with my crochet and watch the TV. I will carry on using the machine though when I need something knitting very quickly as the machine does have a very neat tension which is something that I no longer have due to arthritis.

I am going to try to finish off all the pieces of the cardigan and then I can sew it up and finish off the hand ribbing tonight. After that I still have one ball left to crochet into my sweater before I have to abandon it until the extra wool arrives. I am expecting 3 deliveries of wool this week so it will all be exciting stuff.

I was chatting on Facebook to my friend Charlie, who is opening her new wool shop soon. and she has just had her first wool delivery for the shop. I feel so excited for her. I never lost that excited feeling every time the huge bags of wool arrived even though I was the one who had ordered it. Funnily enough Charlie was having problems with her knitting machine yesterday. She is making something far more complicated than I am though. I haven't used my machine for so long that I am starting off slowly with just plain knit for now.

Time for lunch and then back to the machine before I forget what I did to make the back (sound familiar ladies?) I will find a pad and paper and takes some notes as I regularly suffer from brain fade these days. Then I will probably lose the pad. Sigh. Getting old does have it's drawbacks. My brain used to be as sharp as a shiny new tack and now it is more like a blunt rusty nail!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Now I Know Why I Hoard

I am a self confessed hoarder. I am my Father's daughter is every way. He would never throw anything away that could possibly have a use someday. I am the same about my knitting machines. I have resisted all pressures over the years to either sell or get rid of them. Thank goodness I resisted.

I ventured into the loft today. Not a good idea with my knees and a loft ladder but I was determined to bring down this old lady from her retirement in the loft. Apart from brief visits downstairs when I had the loft insulated and boarded she has been in the loft for over 20 yrs. Fortunately I covered her up and put her away with care and I am sure that once the WD 40 has had a chance to do it's work then I will be knitting away this afternoon.

As I mentioned yesterday my friend who fosters had her last "baby" unexpectedly returned to her on Friday and as I was going to have to try to make him some cardigans or sweaters and knitting is not my favourite occupation I decided to coax this old lady out of retirement. She is a Knitmaster 120 and as such is very basic and does not have a ribber. My aim is to do all the boring stocking stitch bits on the machine and then do the ribs and finishing off whilst I watch the TV in the evenings. This takes me back over 20 yrs to when I used to knit samples for the shop and do the very same thing. I either rib the edges, garter stitch them or if they are for girls and ladies then I do a little crochet edging to finish them off.

I just hope that I can remember how to cast on as it has been such a long time. I do have the manual for it somewhere but I am sure that it is like riding a bicycle. Once learned never forgotten. I will have a few practise knits with some oddments as I can't remember what tension number is for double knit so I will have to experiment a bit before I start making anything properly.

The crochet sweater has almost hit a halt. I only have one ball left and that won't get me anywhere near as long as it should be. I have taken advantage of Texere free postage and ordered another few balls of wool. Of course now the machine is down some more wool jumped into my basket as well. Well I can 't order just 2 balls - can I? Next week is going to be very exciting as I now have 3 parcels of wool that will arrive. Nothing moves for a Bank Holiday so that will delay my parcels until the middle of the week. Excitement oh the excitement. I get quite giddy when I know wool is arriving even though I know what I have ordered.

I am going to fortify myself with a cup of coffee and sit down and try to figure out what goes where. First I think I need to wind some wool as this machine doesn't work very well unless I rewind commercial balls of wool onto the special bobbins with the wool winder. Wish me luck and hope that the old lady performs just as well as she used to. That's the machine as well as me !!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Crochet Today Sept/Oct Issue

I didn't get any wool deliveries today but I did get my copy of Crochet Today Magazine Sept/October issue. As per usual with Crochet Today I find that there are to many nick knack patterns and not much that I will actually crochet. This issue I like the Tailored Blazer by Mati Lynn Patrick on the cover but I would make it with long sleeves as I wouldn't wear anything that thick with a short sleeve.

The grey Everyday Cardi by Robyn Chachula is one that I definitely will make. It has very neat raglan type shaping and could come in useful over a fine sweater in the winter.

Although I like the red Perfect Pullover by Drew Emborsky I feel that a whole sweater made from around the post crochet is more suited to someone slimmer and not someone my size. This stitch does make a rather bulky sweater.

As I am past the age where I bother with Halloween the hats are of no interest to me. I don't think that the UK goes as mad over Halloween as the US does. Personally I am an old misery at Halloween. I don't open my door after dark to anyone unless I am expecting them and I don't want to encourage all that sugar consumption with all the candy bars.

The cushions throws, pot holders and afghans are things that occur in most editions of Crochet Today. I am sure that some people will find them interesting but they don't inspire me. Once again a crochet book with only 2 things that I would make. The upsetting thing is that I have heard that the new edition of Interweave Crochet has 7 knitted items in it. OK I have heard that they have crochet edgings but that is not what I buy a crochet book for so I will feel cheated when that book arrives. I always look forward to Interweave crochet coming as there are always things in it that I like. Now my chances are reduced by 7. On Ravelry lots of people have complained so I do hope that the magazine takes heed and doesn't add knitting on a regular basis. There are dozens of knitting magazines and so few crochet ones that I do feel annoyed that they have to diminish the crochet patterns in favour of knitting trimmed with crochet. As usual crochet has been relegated to second class craft just when I thought that times were getting better for us crocheters.

I am crocheting away on the No Sweat pullover but this time I am sure that I will need to buy at least one more ball of wool. I am doing my usual trick of crocheting the sleeves before the body is completed and I will have used 4 balls when the second sleeve is finished. There is no way that 2 balls will finish the rest of the body so I had better go online and buy another ball or two. As it is Bank Holiday and the post won't arrive until Tuesday I will crochet all of the wool up before I order any more.

I am thinking of getting my simple DK and chunky machine down from the loft. Yesterday my Foster Carer friend got a phone call that the little one that she had for 14 months has come back into the foster care system and he arrived back to her last night without many clothes. It is all hands to the needles for him but it would help if I could run up a couple of plain cardigans or sweaters quickly so that he can have some woollies to wear.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Things Jump Into My Basket - It's Not My Fault

I had done so well this year with my New Year resolution not to keep adding to my stash but like the Yarn Junkie that I am I have had a relapse lately. It's getting to the stage where my credit card lives next to my PC and that is surely a bad sign!

As I was so pleased with the Cinnabar in King Cole Riot that I just had to order another colour - well it is still free postage at Texere until the end of August. I don't know how it happened but another 5 balls of wool of something else finished up in my basket. I am just a sucker for free postage offers. Does that happen to you? Do you get uncontrollable "Add to my Basket" urges? Or is it just me? I never used to be like this. Since I can't get out to choose my own wool I have gone Internet shopping mad. It wouldn't be so bad if I stopped there but no I had to go on to the Purplelinda site to browse the crochet patterns and finished up with even more wool and patterns. Drag me away from the PC and cut up my credit card please!

Sue, if you are reading this I do still want to stash enhance if we get the chance as who knows when I will be fit enough to do it after my op. Other women go mad to have a clothes or shoe spending spree but I drool at the thought of seeing wool en masse. My friend is hopefully signing the lease for her wool shop Purl City Yarns today so I will let you know when she is up and running and what she will be stocking. Yet another place to stash enhance. Did I mention that I drool at new wool? Bliss oh bliss to fondle wool in person when she opens. I shall be blatantly plugging her shop and web site so be warned. Unfortunately for me she will probably be opening when I am recovering from my knee op (She says hopefully with fingers crossed)

Since I got the 3rd proposed operation date I am using this as an excuse to stock up my stash again. To be fair I have used up quite a bit of donated stash since Christmas and the sweater that I have started is with some James C Brett Marble DK that I have had in stash for at least 18 months. I bought it from the market stall on Bury market and I haven't been up there for ages. Once again I am a Doris Chan groupie. I am making the No Sweat from the Everyday crochet book. I have made similar sweaters to this one but never this exact one although Doris's sweater designs all start off in the same way. This one has side splits which will come in useful for my ever spreading derriere.

Sorry Bev if I made you add the Lucinda Guy book to your shopping cart. My bad habits are rubbing off on you. I still have some books from Amazon on pre order that should be arriving soon so you will just have to close your eyes Bev as I think 2 of them are baby crochet books. Just tell your other half that I am leading you astray and you are powerless and so have to follow me into the book store. Ha Ha. If I live to 100 I will never make everything from my books. I love browsing them though. Other people read novels I browse my crochet books and magazines.

I have just scooted up to Tesco for some food. Boy does it feel good to get out and about. People are so kind to me and ask me can I manage and do I want anything getting from the shelves. It just feels nice to shop and get back in about an hour and be able to put my shopping away without my knees killing me. Why did I not buy one earlier? Oh I know, I didn't have the money then. Thank goodness for my disability money. It is paying for my recliner and my scooter. By the time they stop the money I will have paid for everything and it will be mine. Well that is what they give the extra money to me for - to make my life easier until my knees are hopefully sorted out after my ops.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Third Time Lucky?

Today I received a phone call from the hospital giving me another date for my operation. October 26th. Shall I write this in my diary or just wait for them to cancel it again. As 3 months will have gone by since my last pre op tests I have to go and have some more done. I have had 3 pre op tests done so far. Let's hope that they don't pick up on anything to give them an excuse to cancel my operation yet again !

I have finished the Cinnabar by Doris Chan from the Everyday Crochet Book. I haven't as yet blocked it but I think that I could have done with making it the next size up. It doesn't feel tight when I wear it but when I look at the photos I think that I would benefit from a larger size. I sewed on a fastener that I had in stash but I think that I will sew it lower down, more towards the waistline, as it seems to cut me in half at a funny angle, Taking photos is a good idea as it lets you see how it really fits.

The cardigan took 4 balls of King Cole Riot DK but I only had a few strands of wool left. I have ordered some more Riot wool from Texere in another colour but have ordered 5 balls this time so that I can make a larger size and a wee bit longer. I will probably use a different pattern next time and that may need more wool than this one did. I have also ordered another ball of the Orange Reflections with the lurex as I want to use it for a shawl and some Mirage DK by King Cole. Texere have an offer on for August where the postage is free so I might as well take advantage of their offer and increase my stash. I am still hoping to go and visit some mills with a friend to stash enhance as it looks as though I will be housebound towards Christmas. I won't be able to do much else besides knit and crochet although I am really glad that I have got the scooter for food shopping.

I have put the rest of the photos from Lucinda Guy Crochet designs for girls and boys on the blog. I think that there are a few designs that I will make from this book once I find children for them to fit. Most of the young ones are only babies and this book starts at 2-3 yrs.

Now then. what shall I start next? Time for another stash and pattern browse.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

I Love Parcel Deliveries

I love it when the postman calls with parcels for me. Today I got my clothes order a day early. I have only taken a photo of my new ankle boots. I also bought 2 new bras (which I am not going to model) a couple of plain skirts and trousers. As I mentioned before they are very basic design but black and navy will be a great basic for a lot of the tops and sweaters that I already have. I got so sick of my old trousers being too tight on the legs as well as the waistband. These trousers are made of stretch material so have a lot of give on the knees when I sit down. I love the boots. They fasten with a Velcro touch fastening so are so easy to slip on. I had an introductory offer of 20% off everything for my first order which is why I ordered more than I would have done usually. Fifty Plus is a catalogue so I will be able to pay for my garments bit by bit over the coming months.

The Cinnabar hasn't progressed much since yesterday and I have a feeling that I will have to order another ball to finish it off. NancyLee I am using a pattern from the Everyday Crochet book by Doris Chan. I bought mine a couple of years ago through Amazon books and they have it in stock at the moment at a reduced price. In my opinion it is her best book so far. If you want to try a top down cardigan then Doris Chan has a free pattern on Ravelry called Lacy Top Cardigan in NY Yarns Cotton. Is very similar in design to the Cinnabar that I am making but has a more openwork pattern.

Once again I will express my thanks to my on line friends who leave me comments. Over the last few months they have been a life line to me just knowing that someone out there takes an interest in me and my work. It really has helped me through on my bad days. I tend to do my blog reading in blocks rather than every day so even though I don't always comment I do read your blogs.

My second delivery was Crochet Designs for girls and boys by Lucinda Guy. The patterns are very quirkily presented on cartoon type drawn figures rather than using real life models. It give the book an unusual twist to it. I have chosen some of the garments to put on my blog today. The rest of the patterns I will put on tomorrow. I love all the little accessories that make the pattern that bit more unusual. The sizes vary from age 2 up to age 6 yrs. I was expecting a delivery, a different pre ordered book and my waterproofs, so maybe I will have another nice surprise tomorrow.

I had a good time at the Kings Arms Knit Club last night. It's good to be able to have a chat with like minded people. I can't go next week as the pub doesn't open on Bank Holidays. My niece won't be able to take me down there once she goes back to work after the holidays so I will need to get a taxi when I want to go again. I didn't get a lot of crochet done but it doesn't matter as I go for the social atmosphere as much as anything.

I have finished off the bedrooms and hoovered the stairs and my front room but now I need 40 winks like an old biddie. My recliner is calling to me for a short snooze.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Farmers Market

Today I went to the Farmers Market that comes to the precinct every now and again. I say I went but actually I should have said that we went. Buster has got so used to my taking him out with me when I go out on the scooter that when I set off this morning I had only got the first kerb when I heard him start to bark. He then set the 2 dogs off next door so there was a barking contest going on. I waited for a few minutes to see if he stopped barking but he didn't so I had to go back and get him.

He was leaping about and wagging his tail when I opened the door so I didn't have the heart to shout at him. He behaved very well considering that I had to put him on his lead. He didn't even growl when everyone wanted to pat him in the market. He just lapped up all of the attention. I think I have created a Prima Donna dog. (Or whatever the male equivalent of a Diva is called)

My son and daughter in law came to get him and they said I had spoiled him and they are not getting a scooter for him to walk beside ;-). He went off quite happily although he had to get a leg up into the back of the estate car. He pretends that he can't jump in.

I bought some lamb from the market for my freezer. It tastes so much better than the lamb from a supermarket. You can tell that it is really fresh. I gave my son a piece of lamb that they call a Lamb Henry. It's a sort of small joint with a bone in it. Not the leg or the shoulder. It doesn't have a lot of meat on it but there should be enough for the both of them. I don't know which part of the lamb it comes from but I cooked my last one in the oven like a leg of lamb and it was lovely and tender.

I also bought some gorgeous French bread. I couldn't get to the stall on my scooter thanks to the idiotic way that they had arranged the stalls in a circle around the fountain, They had put stalls across the entrance to the fountain so the only way in was across the water channel for the fountain which had a lip on either side and a channel of water that my scooter wheels could have got stuck down. I complained to one of the community staff and he kindly told the bread guy that I wanted some bread. I got service to my scooter by a handsome young man with a sexy French accent so it was almost worth not being able to get to half of the stalls. I gave my son a cheese bread that smelt absolutely heavenly. I said to him that the bread doesn't keep well as they make it without all the preservatives and he said don't worry this bread will be gone before I go to bed. I was a bit of pig myself as I have eaten a whole French stick (with a little help from Buster) Both the bread and the lamb cost more than they would have in a shop but I don't mind splashing out now and again on something that tastes so great. I have lamb chops and chump chops in my freezer to last me for a couple of weeks.

Sorry that the picture of the crochet is so dark but I took it in the electric light. The cardigan now almost has two sleeves.I haven't been able to do any today as we have been out to the market, done 4 loads of washing, and played ball in the garden all afternoon. Normal service has now returned to my household. I do love having Buster here but he does take a lot of time and create lots of cleaning for me. All the washing is the bedding, throws and cushions and covers that have finished up in the washer. I still have his bed to wash yet so I hope that it is fine tomorrow. I have left the floor mopping and the hoovering until tomorrow.

I am feeling better today. I even put make up on and did my hair. I think that it's a combination of a lot of things. Getting out and about and chatting to people is a lot of it, I hadn't realised just how isolated I had become before I got the scooter. All being well I should get to Knit Club tomorrow night so more people to chat to. The only way is up!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Thank Goodness For Top Down Crochet

The good thing about Doris Chan's patterns ( or any other top down pattern) is that I can try them on whilst I am crocheting. As I mentioned before I am using thinner wool and a smaller hook than the pattern calls for so I am making a much larger size than I would normally have made for myself.

I always crochet the sleeves before I finish off the body. I find it far easier than turning the whole garment around and around as I crochet sleeves once the body is finished altogether. It's fortunate that I do as when I started crocheting the sleeve and then tried it on after a few rows it was far too tight under the arms for me. My arms are quite thick at the top and I always have to watch the size of armholes and sleeves when I am making anything for myself. All was not lost in this case. I didn't have to start all over again and make a larger size. I simply adjusted by taking the sleeve back and adding more chain under each arm so that I have added a couple more pattern repeats to the sleeve and the body. The result is that not only do I have a wider sleeve I now have a bit extra width at the bust line. Once I return to the body I will work the bust shaping on each front.

I am quite enjoying making this jacket.I always crochet faster when I am using variegated wool. It's the thrill of finding out which colour comes next and what colour design it makes. Variegated wool looks quite different crocheted than it does when knitted. Knitted fabric tends to come out more stripey and crochet comes out more in blocks. I can always knit random coloured socks far quicker than any plain ones.

I think this comes from using rainbow balls when I was a child. Does anyone else remember those? They came loose or in knitting baskets with a little pair of plastic needles. There was only a few yards on each ball of wool but I used to love knitting with them. In my day almost every little girl had a knitting or weaving set in their stocking from Father Christmas. I once had a set where I made dolls from the old fashioned wooden clothes pegs. The dolls had pipe cleaners for arms and I had to paint a face on them and dress them from the tiny squares of material and bits of ribbon and lace included in the set. I doubt if any little girls get 'craft sets' at Christmas any more. My Mum used to try and get a different craft for me every year. One year it was blanket stitching around cardboard animal shapes, another year it was the bobbin knitting, another year it was making daisies on a loom.

It's no wonder that I grew up thinking that everyone crafted. All of the female members of my family knitted, crocheted or sewed. The male members made rugs, did jigsaws or in my Dad's case made posters in beautiful lettering for the fetes and jumble sales at our Church. He had a lovely set of pen nibs and could write in any style. He taught me a lot of styles but sadly now I have forgotten. He always wanted to be a shop sign writer instead of a butcher but never managed to find a job in that industry. In the old days the shop signs were always painted by hand.

The day started off quite sunny and we played ball in the garden whilst I tried to crochet but of course as soon as I hung out the washing the rain started. I need to bring my sun umbrella in before it gets too wet. Buster won't be having a walk again today but never mind he will be going home tomorrow and will have Skye to chase him around and exercise him. I am afraid that he gets a lot of attention whilst he is here but I can't keep him as not walking him properly is OK for a week but not on a permanent basis.

Friday, 20 August 2010


My new waterproofs arrived today and whilst the jacket is massive the pants are barely larger than the pair that I already have and these are supposed to be 2 sizes larger. I have ordered another set but this time another 2 sizes larger. This time the jacket will probably cover a small village but I do hope that they realize that if I need a jacket that big then I have a big butt to match the chest and send me a suitably sized pair of trousers. I won't bother to send this set back as the postage to return them will probably be as much as the cost of the suit as it was quite cheap. The jacket fits me so an extra waterproof jacket is always useful to have as I plan to keep the set that fits me well in a bag on the scooter permanently for those surprise showers.

I have only done a couple more rows on my jacket as I was doing other things last night and Buster took up residence on my chair whilst I was in another room. I will have to catch up after he goes home on Sunday.

Today I have been online ordering again (please prise my credit card out of my hand!) I decided that my wardrobe needed a boost for the winter. I have plenty of tops but not the skirts and trousers to go with them - well none that are in good condition and still fit me. I got a 50 plus catalogue today and it was filled with my kind of clothes in my size. There was a 20% discount for my first order so I went a bit mad. I ordered 2 new plain long skirts (one black, one navy) and the same colours in trousers. I also ordered a new pair of almost flat black ankle boots that fasten with Velcro as I have problems pushing my feet into my slip on boots as it hurts my knees when I put pressure on them to push. I stuck to basic colours so that I have something to wear with my different colours of crochet garments and also my store bought tops. That was where I come unstuck every time I have to dress to go out. I lack the basic trousers and skirts that go with everything.

I must be feeling better as I am now thinking about how I look again. Before I just couldn't care less what I wore. Never put on any make up or did anything but just twist my hair up and put a clip in. Anything that was comfy and didn't need ironing got put on. I must admit though that I chose today's purchases in fabrics that will wash, tumble dry so don't need ironing. I don't feel well enough to tackle ironing yet.

I was talking online to a friend who is in the mental health care profession and telling him about my problems and weight issues and he recommended that I try some counselling to get to the bottom of why I am comfort eating. The more depressed I have been the more I have eaten junk. I know that I need to diet but it isn't as simple as that, first I need to find out why I overeat when anything goes wrong in my life. The more I weigh then the more depressed I feel and so the cycle continues and I need to break it somehow. I am hoping that looking a bit better with some new clothes that fit will kick start my better mood. Give me some confidence. There is nothing worse than trying to squash into clothes that used to fit to make me feel self loathing. It ruins my mood before I even get to where I am supposed to be going. I usually finish up crying as I try on garment after garment trying to find something that flatters me. I think that I should have a mammoth trying on session and put the too small and unflattering clothes in a box until I can lose the weight. That way at least when I go into the wardrobe whatever I choose to wear will fit me and then I won't get depressed before I even go out.

Today is miserable, damp and cold. The sun does keep trying to shine through but it doesn't carry much warmth. I think that Summer has gone now and we are into Autumn. Even the tree in my front garden has started dropping a few leaves and it is usually much later in the year when it does that. Whilst I have been writing this the rain has started falling heavily so that is us staying in for the rest of the day.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Back To A Doris Chan Design Again

After searching through my patterns for a jacket for myself I decided once again on the Cinnabar by Doris Chan from the Everyday Crochet Book. Although I have made this jacket quite a few times none of them were for me. I am using Riot DK by King Cole that I bought from Texere Yarns. It is turning out quite bright so not sure how I will feel about it for myself when it is finished. As the wool is finer than the one suggested for the pattern I am using a smaller hook (5mm) to get a nice tension for the wool but I have had to up the size of jacket that I am crocheting to a 50" chest to compensate for it coming out smaller than it should. I am also adding a couple extra plain rows before I divide for the sleeves as I am quite heavyset in the shoulder area. I am always messing about with patterns, especially the US ones, when I am not sure of the exact thickness of the wool I am supposed to be using. I have certain hook sizes that I like to use for certain thicknesses of wool.My comfort zone so to speak.

I think that is why I am struggling so much with that fine shawl. I want to either drop the hook size by a couple of sizes but then it would be too small or use a thicker wool such as a 4ply but that will make the shawl come out larger. I am really unhappy when I am crocheting ( or knitting for that matter) using hooks and needles that I feel are overly large for the wool that I am using. I know that is the point of the fine shawls. Using a large hook to make a cobweb texture but an overlarge hook slows me down to a crawl and the work is so loopy that I keep crocheting into the wrong stitch or loop and don't see the mistake until have done another couple of rows after. I am so sick of unravelling a couple of rows for every three that I crochet. I want to persevere and make it but every time I look at it I shudder as I know that I have another 2 rows to unpick before I can resume my crochet.

It's funny that I should be having doubts about wearing multi coloured wool. I love crocheting with it as I am looking forward to the next colour change that I crochet a lot faster with coloured wool than I do with plain. Beverooni and I were having a conversation via e mail about this subject. It's funny how much we think alike. Bev always says we were separated at birth by an ocean. We have found out that we have similar tastes in such a lot of things. Thanks for the link in your comment Bev I will take a look as I am determined to master my Tunisian Crochet tension problems.

Bev and I were also discussing how there are hardly any patterns for bags for mobility scooters and wheelchairs. Well there aren't many on Ravelry. I think that we should design our own line in bags that button onto chair arms or hang on the handlebars of a scooter. I saw a knitted felted lap bag on Ravelry that fastens under the knees so that it doesn't slip off as you drive along. I am off my knitting and it breaks my heart to felt anything so I will have to work out a crochet version. I know that wool will get wet if it rains but if the bags buttoned on and off they would easily be dried. I think that we should start a few designs for longer backed jackets or capes that won't ride up at the back whilst we are seated that will keep our knees warm without falling off like a lap blanket would. I shall have to put my thinking cap on. I can feel a few prototypes coming on. It's hard enough concentrating on the steering without having to stop and retrieve a blanket that has slipped off.

Today it hasn't rained so far. It was bright and sunny this morning and Buster and I played ball in the garden until it went dark and rainy. It brightened up again for a while but it's now gone colder than it was this morning and I can hear thunder in the distance so am just waiting for the rain to fall. I never know what to wear. This morning I wore trousers and a fine sweater and I had to change as I was too hot. Now I am too cold in my vest top and cut off pants and have put on one of my shawls. I can't win! I don't think that Buster will be going out this afternoon. Riding on my scooter is like doing a rain dance ;-) Oh no. Here comes the heavy rain now so I am going to make a coffee and to do a bit more crochet. Sorry Buster - no walk today.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

I Like My Mistake Shawl

Now that I have finished off the Granny Shawl from Inside crochet Issue 9 by Julie Armstrong Holetz that I made the mistake on I am glad that I did not unravel it. I made the mistake of only decreasing the side arms of the shawl on one edge instead of both and finished up with a very elongated shawl that was a cross between a scarf and a shawl. I am definitely going to make another of these using better quality wool next time. I think that I will try to amend it so that I can use the fine Reflections DK that I bought. If it was on a larger hook it would be more openwork so would need less rows on the body part and therefore take less wool. I am not sure how much wool this shawl took in 4ply as it was from a stash ball without a label. I would suspect that the ball was around 200 grams and I have used about 3/4 of it. The Reflections wool is only in 100 gram balls although the one without the lurex thread has a very good yardage.

It's funny how often mistakes turn out for the better. This version wraps around my neck in either direction with still plenty left to tie or throw over my shoulders. I have tried draping it in many ways and it looks good whichever way I put it. I think that it is because the pointed bit of the shawl is quite shallow. Whatever it is I am listing this as one of my successful mistakes.

Pearl is now an enigma. Her shopping bags came today from Argos and the brand name on the is Enigma, At least it will cover up the granny type stickers on the back of the scooter seat. The smaller bag fits around the steering column and I think will be large enough to hold my waterproofs when they arrive. I have ordered a really large size so that they will fit over anything that I am wearing if I get caught in the rain whilst I am shopping. I can't bear that too tight uncomfortable feeling I like room to breathe. Yes they will make me look huge but who cares. I don't.

The rain has been on and off again today so as you can see Buster has his unhappy face on. He can't understand why pegging a shawl on the line is more important than throwing a ball for him. I doubt if I will venture out today as I know the minute that I set off the heavens will open. At the moment he is being entertained by a delivery wagon with a big crane which is delivering top soil to the house across the road. He is on his seat in the window (excuse me but didn't that used to be MY recliner?) watching the world go by and guarding the street.

What shall I make next? I wish that I could drum up some enthusiasm for either the boys knitted hoodies or the fine red shawl but they are not inspiring me today. Time for a pattern browse I think.